Wednesday, 10 October 2018

The Spirit Goes Underground



Long before any Showcases, Essentials & Archives, a lot of fans fondly remembered Will Eisner's staggeringly ahead of it's time 1940's newspaper strip The Spirit, and luckily some of them were in a position to scratch that fanboy itch. Like Jim Warren. And today, Denis Kitchen.
So let's look at Kitchen Sink's version, the period when The Spirit went underground.
Kitchen Sink Press was a successful Underground publisher, when Denis sought out Eisner, then long out of the comics business and publishing instructional magazine P.S. for the US Army, to see if he could get the rights to publish some old Spirit stories ( Eisner being one of the few Golden Age creators savvy enough to retain the rights to his character. )
Invigorated and excited by what he saw in Underground comics, Will contributed the above cover to Kitchen's Snarf in 1972, and later, this cover for Gamut.



Not just happy to donate some old Spirit stories to the Underground cause, Will also produced some new stuff, in keeping with this new audience, for a couple of books from Kitchen Sink. Here's the fantastic cover and new strips for the first book.







While the 2nd book was all about The Spirit's, and comicdom's, greatest femme fatale, P'Gell. This issue featured more reprints, alongside ( as Commissioner Dolan says on the back cover ) a newly drawn version of a 'lost' P'Gell story.






Then, after Jim Warren produced 16 issues of his own Spirit magazine, Will returned to Kitchen Sink to continue the series. Here's Will and Denis meeting up again:


And, to finish, some of the amazing wraparound covers from this run.






7 comments:

  1. How can you go wrong with the Spirit?

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  2. Well, Frank Miller sure gave it the old college try!

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    Replies
    1. But on the bright side no one will make another Spirit movie for at least twenty years.

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  3. Frank Miller, the one trick pony. I tried reading Sin City. Torture.

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    1. I feel both pity and schadenfreude for you, simultaneously.

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  4. Some of it's ok, but yeah, he's never bettered Daredevil in my opinion. That's not just nostalgia, either.

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  5. I first discovered the Spirit in those B&W Kitchen Sink reprints with new covers by Will Eisner. Such great comics. I eventually acquired the complete run thanks to the DC Archives. Was fortunate to get the last Spirit story by Eisner in that issue of the Escapist as well. The recent revival was a dud in my opinion. They didn't seem to grok the character. Nice drawings, but the writing and atmosphere were way off the mark. Not as bad as Frank Miller, though.

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